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Feb 26, 2008

Pasok was cheated by EC' claim


Kota Kinabalu: Trouble-plagued Pasok is disappointed with the Election Commission (EC) for not allowing its candidates to use the party's symbol and name on their ballot papers.

Party President Richard Jayasuria said the party "has been totally cheated by the EC" and that some of its candidates opted to drop out from the race rather than contest as Independents due to the sudden turn of events.

"My estimate is about 12 candidates (of about 26) opted to contest as Independents while the rest decided to drop out.

"We were told at the last minute during nomination time that we could not use our party's name and logo due to rival claims to the party's presidency.

"This is an old claim made by Cleftus Mojingol. The ROS was made fully aware of the case and we were led to believe that he would use his good office to settle the dispute," said Richard.

Richard said, moreover, "we have been given approval to use our party's name and symbol by EC not so many days ago.

"We prepared our posters, nomination forms, paid our deposits on the faith of the approval only to be told of the bad news at the last minute at nomination time. It seems there was a last minute instruction from the EC to the nomination centres and some of our candidates lodged police reports over the matter," he said.

Jayasuria, claimed that he too, opted not to contest as a matter of principle, although sources said he had been disqualified for arriving late for nomination.

"I was held up as I had to deal with all the distress calls coming in because of the confusion. I arrived at 10am sharp but was not allowed to join my people (inside the nomination centre)," said Jayasuria.

He had earlier planned to contest the Tanjung Aru State seat as well as the Putatan parliamentary seat.

Asked on his next course of action, Jayasuria said he would continue campaigning for the remaining candidates and leave the matter to be investigated by the authorities.

In Penampang, Pasok's Willybroad Missi who is contesting both the Penampang parliamentary seat as well as the Moyog State seat was left confused by the EC's decision.

"I was only told about this when I was asked to select an Independent symbol by the EC officers during the nomination Éwe were not informed by the EC regarding its decision (to bar the use of Pasok symbol)," said the visibly upset businessman.

Nevertheless, Missi decided not opt out of the election and chose the "Umbrella" symbol to be printed on the ballot papers.


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